Spotlight on: Notre Dame High School, San Jose, California

After a year of virtual and hybrid education due to Covid, Head of School, Mary Beth Riley welcomed students, faculty and staff back on campus last September, saying: “We are excited to be back on campus, hearing the lockers bang shut, the lively hallway conversations and embracing a campus alive in spirit. Our 2020 – 2021 year, in remote and in hybrid learning, heightened our anticipation of those simple moments of the Notre Dame community and we all look forward to being together often this year as we celebrate 175 years of Notre Dame education in San Jose.”

The Notre Dame High School, San Jose, Center for Women's Leadership

After years of planning which included a strategic plan called Vision 2025, the Board and Administration laid the groundwork for the Center for Women’s Leadership, housed in a newly constructed building adjacent to and complementing the existing campus buildings. Now that the campus is back to in-person learning, the faculty, staff and students are living into the Women’s Leadership Programs that advance students’ growth and share the NDSJ women’s leadership brand with the community.

One program is the Women of Impact series, which celebrates the contributions of women in Silicon Valley and honors them for their vision, commitment and leadership. Participating in this series provides students with real time examples and interaction with women who are making a difference often in fields where women are underrepresented such as professions related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Other student experiences include the Women’s Place project for freshman. It is based on the work of artist, Judy Chicago to study and demonstrate the strength and contributions of women across time, culture and industry. Seniors participate in the Young Women’s Advocacy Summit, which is attended by community members and local politicians. During this event the students advocate on behalf of the organizations they served during their senior projects.

Freshmen at the Notre Dame High School, San Jose participate in the Women's Place Project.

Ongoing learning opportunities include important days on the calendar. For example, in February there were presentations from local speakers to honor Black History Month. During Catholic Schools Week, NDSJ celebrated with several events along with many Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur who participated in these activities.

Through an intentional integration of academic study and direct experience that is steeped in Catholic values, academic rigor, personal responsibility, belief in the importance of relationships and compassionate and socially just leadership, Notre Dame San Jose lives out Saint Julie’s call to teach students what they need for life.


By: Meg Glendon, U.S. Director of Communications, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

Source: U. S. eNewsletter | FEBRUARY 2022| VOL. 13 NO. 1

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